Grab-bag time. Spoilers for, in order, "House," "Bones" and "Gossip Girl" coming up just as soon as I angle my new flatscreen...
It's funny how, in the fictional universe of "House," Amber got the short end of the stick by not making the team, while in the real world of making "House," Anne Dudek seems like the big winner. Where Taub, Kutner and Thirteen get a few minor bits of business each week, Cutthroat Bitch gets her own subplots with Wilson and tends to make far more of an impression each week than the other three combined. ("Cupid" fans: do you think Dudek might make a good remake Claire, assuming she and Bobby Cannavale have chemistry?)
Meanwhile, the writers have started to remember that Chase and Cameron exist. Last week, we got House and Chase's abbreviated bowling date, and this week we got Cameron inserting herself back into House-world for a single case, and showing that, while she's outgrown her crush on House, she misses the work that they did together. I never really had a huge attachment to any of the junior docs when the original team was in place, and yet moments like the "All pretty girls are fungible" scene give me a greater appreciation for them. It's not that they're necessarily better actors or characters than the newbies, but they have years of shared history with House, and that's the sort of thing you can't trade on with Mini-Stud or Kumar.
As for the case itself, it was an amusing payoff to House's long-running soap fixation, but what really struck me was House's hypocrisy in the final scene with Cuddy. He's mad at himself because the "treat, then diagnose" philosophy should have failed, and only succeeded by sheer luck, but he's projecting his anger onto Cuddy because she allegedly is the one who's supposed to put the breaks on him. The problem I have with that -- not from a storytelling perspective, because we know House is a hypocrite, but just from a House's logic perspective -- is that House always gets his way, whether Cuddy tries to stop him or not. Unless the writers use this episode as an excuse to have House pay Cuddy more heed in the future, he was just full of bull there.
A very good "Bones," and I'm impressed by their ability to balance their usual humor with the higher stakes of the dad-on-trial story in a way that never felt awkward. The David Kelley shows (and, in the early going, "Eli Stone") usually use their humor as a crutch to keep viewers from having to take the dramatic material all that seriously, but it flowed much more naturally here. I bought Temperance being concerned for her dad and yet still able to joke with Booth while Sweets was on the stand, for instance.
Speaking of Sweets, good to see how they've contrived to have John Francis Daley join the cast permanently. I'm always happy for a "Freaks and Geeks"er to find grown-up work, and those scenes are often the highlight of each episode. One minor complaint: Brennan joining in with Booth's "Do you like us, Sweets?" mockery outside the courthouse didn't seem in character. For the most part, the writers are very good at mining humor from Brennan's stunted, overly-rational social skills, but this didn't fit.
Finally, I think I'm done with "Gossip Girl." It's not that I think the show is doing anything wrong; if anything, the execution in the post-strike episodes seems higher than previously, as they're using the entire cast better and have made appropriate additions like Michelle Trachtenberg as the evil Georgina.
I've just come to the conclusion that my problem with the show isn't the lack of self-aware "O.C." humor (though there isn't much of that), or that I'm creeped out by all this focus on Cindy Lou Who's sex life (though it was definitely not my favorite part of this episode), or that I feel too old to be watching this show (I've recently gotten hooked on MTV's "The Paper," and am working on a column about it).
I've just come to the realization that I have no interest in who gets to be Queen Bitch of that school, and since that's what's the fundamental focus of the series (and, I presume, the books), it just ain't my cuppa.
What did everybody else think?